Rain or Shine coach Caloy Garcia looked to deny Magnolia all sorts of comfort going into the Holy Week break.
Magnolia, it turned out, ended up doing that and more in Game 3 of their PBA Philippine Cup semifinals duel on Tuesday night at the Big Dome.
The Elasto Painters left the stadium on an 85-74 loss via a fourth-quarter meltdown and a handful of concerns they have to troubleshoot within the five-day break.
“We have to learn from this loss,” he told reporters. “Especially [with our performance] the fourth quarter. We only scored 11 … We were no longer hitting our shots and we couldn’t go to the line.”
Rain or Shine kept the aggressiveness and physicality that netted it the first two victories of the series—but only for three quarters.
Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang sensed the sudden meekness in the payoff period and pounded the low blocks hard, unloading 10 crucial points under the final six minutes of the match to put the Hotshots back in contention.
Sangalang, scoreless in the first half, poured all his 16 points in the last two periods.
“They became more physical than us,” Garcia added. “They went to [Ian] in the end and we had no answer to him. He scored 12 points in the fourth. I think that was the game. We couldn’t contain him.”
Initially hoping to send Magnolia to the break buried under a 0-3 series deficit, Garcia now looks to utilize the vacation to make necessary tweaks in his team’s approach.
“It’s going to be about us stepping up and being a little bit stronger,” he said. “We have to be more aggressive in attacking the basket.”
Game 4 is on April 22.
“We’re still up in the series, 2-1. We may not have made our shots but we remain confident we’re going to bounce back,” he said.
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